Loving in La Conner

When Seattlites say the weather is for the birds, they may mean it more than they know. To wit, the profusion of avian life that takes over the Skagit Valley each and every winter. The fallow farm fields leading into the shallows where river meets sea makes for a veritable all-you-can-eat buffet for both passing and resident birds. You may have seen the Snow Geese congregate in the area, but did you know it’s also a mecca for woodpeckers, songbirds, gulls and raptors?

/The well-stocked town of La Conner, where the Skagit River empties into Puget Sound, is not only a great place to search for art, antiques and food, but also to serve as basecamp for area bird excursions. If you’re looking for expert guidance or just some camaraderie, join up with Libby Mills, who takes interested birders around to her favorite lookout points on behalf of the Skagit Audubon Society, the local chapter of the national group dedicated to protecting and preserving wild bird species. This coming weekend, on Sunday 2/14, Mills will lead an excursion to her favorite birding sites around the Skagit delta. Anyone is welcome; just dress for wet and muddy conditions and be at the Wiley Slough wildlife area parking lot at 8:30 a.m., rain or shine. For more info, contact Libby directly, 360.757.4139 or libbymills@gmail.com.

And why not make a weekend of it? Couples looking to make the most of Valentine’s weekend (or any weekend) should book a room at the Wild Iris Inn, each of which comes with its own jetted double soaking tub and other romantic amenities. While the Wild Iris is more of an inn than a B&B—you won’t be subjected to grandma’s musty old stories—it does serve a killer breakfast included with a night’s stay. So go ahead and relax…you deserve it!